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Old August 30 2011, 05:22 PM   #1
Warped9
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"Dirty Harry" Callahan...

I've been watching the Dirty Harry films recently and it's a trip in nostalgia. Eastwood's Harry Callahan definitely isn't a contemporary touchy-feely male. Yeah, the sexism is blatant, but it's also amusing in that Harry's cynicism is aimed more at incompetence and apathy rather than sexism and whatever else.

It's fun catching these again. Indeed I'm surprised never to have heard of the Dirty Harry films and/or character being rebooted for a contemporary audience. The character is so iconically Eastwood that I find it hard to imagine anyone else playing him.

Wasn't the character originally adapted from a book or books?
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Old August 30 2011, 05:24 PM   #2
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Re: "Dirty Harry" Callahan...

The first two films are classic; the rest I'm not a big fan of.
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Old August 30 2011, 05:44 PM   #3
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Re: "Dirty Harry" Callahan...

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Wasn't the character originally adapted from a book or books?
No, the character was created for the screen.
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Old August 30 2011, 05:46 PM   #4
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Re: "Dirty Harry" Callahan...

Warped9 wrote: View Post
I've been watching the Dirty Harry films recently and it's a trip in nostalgia. Eastwood's Harry Callahan definitely isn't a contemporary touchy-feely male. Yeah, the sexism is blatant, but it's also amusing in that Harry's cynicism is aimed more at incompetence and apathy rather than sexism and whatever else.

It's fun catching these again. Indeed I'm surprised never to have heard of the Dirty Harry films and/or character being rebooted for a contemporary audience. The character is so iconically Eastwood that I find it hard to imagine anyone else playing him.

Wasn't the character originally adapted from a book or books?
No, he was created for the cinema. There were Dirty Harry books but they were spin-offs from the cinematic character.

John Wayne and Frank Sinatra were offered the title role before Clint, but it's impossible to imagine anyone but Eastwood in the role. I do recall talk of a remake a few years back (The Rock was in the frame, IIRC) but while I'm not against recasting or remakes generally, I think this is one that ought not to be touched with a bargepole. Even if DH itself does owe a little to Bullitt, IMHO.

The Scorpio character is based on the Zodiac serial killer and I think that it's Andy Robinson's finest cinematic role (but personally, I'd give his top ever role to a certain Cardassian tailor).

Would have to agree that the series went rapidly downhill after Magnum Force (in which Harry delivers a surprisingly powerful attack on vigilantism), though the otherwise crap Dead Pool does contain an enjoyable car chase, with the Streets of San Francisco showing that they lend themselves even to a car chase with a toy car (which has a bomb, chasing Harry's car).
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Old August 30 2011, 05:47 PM   #5
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Re: "Dirty Harry" Callahan...

I watched it for the first time (that I'm aware of anyway) a couple a months ago and enjoyed it greatly.
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Old August 30 2011, 07:18 PM   #6
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Re: "Dirty Harry" Callahan...

The first two are the best, though I also like the third film, The Enforcer. Once the series entered the 1980s Eastwood was a little old for the role and the films weren't as interesting.

I'm not surprised they haven't been remade. As long as Eastwood is alive, I doubt that will happen. They were also rather controversial films when they came out -- Pauline Kael famously called the first one a "fascist masterpiece" -- and I think that controversy still remains.
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Old August 30 2011, 07:18 PM   #7
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Re: "Dirty Harry" Callahan...

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Indeed I'm surprised never to have heard of the Dirty Harry films and/or character being rebooted for a contemporary audience.
Goddammit, don't give them any ideas!
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Old August 30 2011, 07:31 PM   #8
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Re: "Dirty Harry" Callahan...

Harvey wrote: View Post
The first two are the best, though I also like the third film, The Enforcer.
Me too, but The Enforcer is nothing without Daly.
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Old August 30 2011, 08:52 PM   #9
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Re: "Dirty Harry" Callahan...

gh4chiefs wrote: View Post
Warped9 wrote: View Post
Indeed I'm surprised never to have heard of the Dirty Harry films and/or character being rebooted for a contemporary audience.
Goddammit, don't give them any ideas!
I hear Shia LeBouef is available.
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Old August 30 2011, 08:54 PM   #10
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Re: "Dirty Harry" Callahan...

^ He could be the offspring of Harry and Sondra Locke's character from The Dead Pool.

Damn, giving them more ideas!!!!!!
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Old August 30 2011, 09:31 PM   #11
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Re: "Dirty Harry" Callahan...

Locke's character was in Sudden Impact, not the Dead Pool.

The first two were great and the fourth (Sudden Impact) was also very good. The third was so-so and the fourth really bad.
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Old August 30 2011, 09:42 PM   #12
Temis the Vorta
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Re: "Dirty Harry" Callahan...

Oooh oooh, I'm getting a vision of an FX comedy starring Clint and Shia: My Son, the Wuss.
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Old August 30 2011, 09:46 PM   #13
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Re: "Dirty Harry" Callahan...

Captaindemotion wrote: View Post
John Wayne and Frank Sinatra were offered the title role before Clint
I've heard rumors that Elvis was also considered. But if that had been the case the "feel lucky punk" scene would have been addressed to a television.

I think this is one that ought not to be touched with a bargepole. Even if DH itself does owe a little to Bullitt, IMHO.
Steve McQueen based Bullitt in part on real life SF Detective Dave Toschi. Toschi was the detective in charge of the real life Zodiac killer case. As you note, the Zodiac case was one of the inspirations for the first "Harry" movie.

Would have to agree that the series went rapidly downhill after Magnum Force (in which Harry delivers a surprisingly powerful attack on vigilantism)
The attack isn't that surprising when you consider that the first movie ended with Harry throwing away his badge, fully believing that his vigilantism had cost him his career (but was necessary under the circumstances). Also, the rogue cops in MF took it way beyond what Harry ever did. Harry was no boy scout but he didn't execute people in cold blood, Bronson-style (at least in the first two films).

, though the otherwise crap Dead Pool ...
...where Harry did, in fact, execute the main villain in cold blood. That always left a bad taste him my mouth even if the rest of the film hadn't been crap.

I'm surprised there's so little love for "Sudden Impact" here. I thought that one actually tied into the first two reasonably well. And, of course, it gave us "Go Ahead Make My Day."
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Old August 30 2011, 09:47 PM   #14
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Re: "Dirty Harry" Callahan...

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
Oooh oooh, I'm getting a vision of an FX comedy starring Clint and Shia: My Son, the Wuss.
That idea was actually a subplot in Gran Torino, if you think about it.
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Old August 30 2011, 09:49 PM   #15
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Re: "Dirty Harry" Callahan...

the G-man wrote: View Post
Locke's character was in Sudden Impact, not the Dead Pool.
Yeah, Patricia Clarkson was the female lead in The Dead Pool.
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